Jaipur, Nov 8 : Bollywood director Sanjay Leela Bhansali is perhaps happy as his film on the 13-14th century Queen of Chittor, Rani Padmavati, has garnered more publicity and print reams than it could have ever earned through routine promotions.
The protests, distortions, the threats of not being allowed to release, warnings to distributors, cinema hall owners have generated enough buzz about the film. And is likely to bring in more viewers than expected. But the film is unlikely to be released in Rajasthan, from where the story emanates.
Deepika Padukone- Ranveer Singh-Shahid Kapoor starrer, the period film set in Chittor and about the legendary beauty and bravery of Rani Padmavati, is set to release on Dec 1.
With threats from Rajput outfit, Karni Sena and other Rajput leaders including BJP MLA and Jaipur Princess Diya Kumari, Padmavati may not see the light of the day in Rajasthan. Film distributors have refused to buy the rights of distribution unless an amicable solution is reached between Bhansali and Rajput community leaders.
Karni Sena have warned of disrupting the film show or damage the halls if the movie is screened. They have been handing over memorandums to cinema hall owners of not to screen the film.
Raj Bansal, a film distributor is apprehensive. He says : “Karni Sena and other Rajput community leaders are protesting against the film over alleged distortion of historical facts. We are also against the distortion of historical facts and will purchase the distribution rights only after the controversy is settled.”
The Rajput community have been protesting against the reported romantic liaison shown between Rani Padmavati and Delhi Sultan Allauddin Khilji, which they say is all fictitious as Padmavati committed jauhar with 16000 other women to escape from the clutches of Sultan’s army after her husband and King Ratansen lost the battle to Khilji.
Meanwhile, Princess Diya Kumari, the leading light of Jaipur royal family and a Rajput, has also vowed to not allow the release of the film if it is not screened before a historians and expert panels before its release. Her lending support to the Rajput cause have energised the community.
Her statement categorically states : “No film should hurt the sentiments of a community by twisting historical facts. The director of the film Padmavati, Sanjay Leela Bhansali should not wrongly depict the story of Queen Padmavati of Chittor. He should get the facts in the film verified by a forum of historians and then release the film. Rajputs would not allow any distortion of the valiant history of Rajasthan and sacrifice of its people in fighting barbarians. If movie does not display authentic history or takes any liberties, it will not be allowed to be released.”
She took to Twitter , tweeting : “I will not allow any distortion of the valiant history of Rajasthan & Sacrifice of it in fighting barbarians by movie.”
“Rani #Padmavati is symbol of Rajasthan’s bravery & honour, any attempt to lessen her & women who sacrificed their lives will not be allowed.”
Meanwhile, BJP MP Chintamani Malviya from Ujjain, in a Facebook post that reads in Hindi, says : “Filmmakers have done this only because of money. Rani Padmavati committed jauhar with thousand others to protect her honour and twisting historical facts is disrespecting your nation. People like Bhansali only understand the language of shoes. And this nation would not tolerate the humiliation shown to it. Those filmmakers, whose wives change their husbands everyday, how would they know what is jauhar. Mental sickness of Bhansali would not be tolerated in the name of creative freedom.”